A leading Erewash councillor has slammed the borough’s new fly-tipping fine as ‘a joke’ claiming that it is mere ‘peanuts’.
Councillor Mike Wallis, lead member for culture and leisure at Erewash Borough Council, felt that the new fine, which would have a minimum penalty of £150, would not sufficiently deter wrong-doers.
The new fine would penalise residents for giving their waste to firms which are dumping it in the countryside instead of disposing of it legally.
A minimum fine would be £150 which would be dropped to £120 if paid within 10 days.
The ‘default’ fine would be £200 – but penalties could rise to £400.
At a meeting of the council’s executive on Tuesday, Coun Wallis said: “I think £150 is peanuts, we need to hit these people hard, and to do that, we have to hit them in their pockets.
“I think it is a bit of a joke to be honest, I don’t think it is going to bother too many people.
“They are blighting the countryside and they are treating it like an open tip.”
The new fine forms part of the Environmental Protection Act and punishes residents for breaching the ‘duty of care’ over their waste.
Coun Carol Hart, leader of the council, said that vulnerable residents ‘may not even be aware of the issue’.
She advised that all residents ask the firm taking their rubbish away for their waste carrier license.
Coun Hart said that companies ‘would be happy for people to check’.
Coun Wallis agreed that vulnerable residents were at risk but that most people will not know what an official waste carrier license looks like.
He said: “They could just as easily be waving a Derby County season ticket for all they know.”
Coun Wayne Major, deputy leader of the council, said: “We are, as a council, determined to stop fly-tipping. It is not acceptable.
“This is to act as a deterrent.”
Residents are encouraged to take a photo of the waste carrier license of the firm they have hired to dispose of their waste.
They are also asked to keep a receipt for the payment to the firm and to take a photo of the vehicle used to dispose of the waste – including its registration plate.
A council report on the fine says: “An individual will be given an opportunity to demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to determine the person that took their waste was authorised to do so.
“If fly-tipped waste is traced to an individual and they are unable to identify who took their waste, or that the carrier they identified was unauthorised, then it is reasonable to believe their duty of care was not met.”
Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service